In ruling NY N312202 (June 18, 2020), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) discussed the classification of the Plus Bionics POD. It is a composite machine that has several features including facial recognition, temperature reading, disinfection, an LCD display and alarms for high temperature readings. When entering the unit, the user will place their face in front of the facial recognition camera, which identifies the user and displays their information on the LCD display. The device will then use a thermal imaging camera to provide an accurate temperature reading of the user. If the body temperature exceeds the standard, a voice alarm will be given. The temperature results are also displayed on the integrated LCD display. The user then proceeds to the disinfecting booth. The Plus Bionics POD utilizes an ultrasonic atomizer and fan to create a disinfecting fog that disinfects the user. An indicator light will go on when the disinfecting is initiated and will go off when the disinfecting is complete. Finally, the user opens the curtain and steps out of the booth.

General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3(a), HTSUS, states that the heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings refers to only part of the machine then those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to the function of the machine. As per Note 3 to Section XVI, composite machines consisting of two or more machines fitted together or machines designed for the purpose of performing two or more complementary or alternative functions are to be classified as if consisting only of that component which performs the principal function. In this instance, principal function cannot be determined. According to General Explanatory Note (VI) to Section XVI, titled “Multi-Function Machines and Composite Machines”, when it is not possible to determine the principal function of the machine as provided for in Note 3 to Section XVI, and when the context does not otherwise require, it is necessary to apply GRI 3(c). Thus, the Plus Bionics POD is classifiable in the subheading, which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration. In this instance, the temperature reading component falls within heading 9027.

CBP determined that the applicable subheading for the Plus Bionics POD will be 9027.50.4020, HTSUS, which provides for “Instruments and apparatus for physical or chemical analysis (for example, polarimeters, refractometers, spectrometers, gas or smoke analysis apparatus); instruments and apparatus for measuring or checking viscosity, porosity, expansion, surface tension or the like; instruments and apparatus for measuring or checking quantities of heat, sound or light (including exposure meters); microtomes; parts and accessories thereof: Other instruments and apparatus using optical radiations (ultraviolet, visible, infrared): Other: Electrical: Thermal analysis instruments and apparatus.” The general rate of duty will be free.

Pursuant to U.S. Note 20 to Subchapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS, products of China classified under subheading 9027.50.4020, HTSUS, unless specifically excluded, are subject to an additional 25 percent ad valorem rate of duty. At the time of importation, the Chapter 99 subheading, 9903.88.01, in addition to subheading 9027.50.4020, HTSUS, must be reported.